Fair Lane: Home of Clara and Henry Ford

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Fair Lane: Home of Clara and Henry Ford
Courtesy of Fair Lane: Home of Clara and Henry Ford

Fair Lane: Home of Clara and Henry Ford is a National Historic Landmark in Dearborn. Closed for renovation, the 31,000-square-foot estate was built in 1915 on 1,300 acres and was the couple’s 15th and final home. The nonprofit is working to restore and reimagine the estate, and workers have fixed leaky roofs and collapsing foundations and shored up the riverbank to make the estate secure. It now is restoring the rooms inside to how they looked in 1919. After the deaths of Henry and Clara Ford in 1947 and 1950, respectively, Ford Motor Co. purchased the estate to use for offices and corporate functions. In 1957, Henry Ford II announced the gift of Fair Lane and its farmlands to develop the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In 2014, the university transferred ownership of the estate to a newly established 501(c)(3) entity. Most of the estate’s original structures stand today, including the main residence, the powerhouse that supplied energy to the estate, the greenhouse for Clara’s gardens, the boathouse, and the stables. The home was one of the first sites to be designated a National Historic Landmark and features a mix of English castle and prairie style. The grounds and gardens are open for visitors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay home order, the nonprofit is extending membership expiration dates by three months.

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